Sigiriya is one of the most famous and travelled-to destinations in Sri Lanka. This is in no small part due to it being home to the 8th wonder of the world – the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. But that’s not all either, there’s plenty more to see and do here, making Sigiriya one of the best destinations to visit in the entire country!
The name Sigiriya translates to ‘Lion Rock’, and according to ancient Sri Lankan chronicles, the spectacular rock fortress that sits atop this rock was once the seat of King Kashyapa. He was said to have chosen the site as his new capital, building his palace there and adorning the path up to it with spectacular frescoes – some of which you can still see today! Following Kashyapa’s death in the late 5th century, Sigiriya was abandoned as the capital and would subsequently become a refuge and monastery for Buddhist monks. In more recent times, the rock fortress has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is cited as one of the best-preserved examples of urban planning during the ancient era. In short, if you’re ever in the area, this is a location that you absolutely need to visit!
As spectacular as it is, this destination isn’t all about the rock fortress either – there’s plenty and more to do in the surrounding area from hiking expeditions to thrilling safari rides! For starters, there’s the Pidurangala Rock that’s situated right next to Sigiriya. For all you wildlife enthusiasts, national parks like Minneriya and Kaudulla offer some of the best wildlife-viewing experiences in all of Sri Lanka – Minneriya, in particular, is famous for its massive congregations of Asian elephants.